Cuisine: Chinese (Cantonese)
Price: Cheap/Moderate (£10-£15/person)
Rating: 3 (out of 5)
I can be regarded as a regular at Wing Tai. The price is reasonable and the food very tasty. Since finding this gem, I’ve not even thought about bothering to go into Chinatown or buying from a “dirty” takeaway. If you read my review of Hoo Hing’s Café (my first ever review), Wing Tai is such a huge step up from it; don’t take the fact that they are the same rating as meaning that they are anywhere near the same quality (Hoo Hing was half the price though).
When one thinks of Chinese food in the UK, one would usually imagine a homogeneous mix of sweet and sour something (the dry shredded beef with chilli shown above was perfectly sweet, sour and crunchy, but only a little spicy), something something noodles, egg fried rice et cetera. Thankfully nowadays, there is a larger variety of Chinese food available (such as Peranakan, Szechuan and Taiwanese).
I find that British Chinese restaurant food on the whole is pretty good (mostly bastardised Cantonese cuisine made for the British palate; but it’s much better than most of what I got in the US where everything seemed to have peas and broccoli!), Wing Tai’s menu is no different. The deciding difference between a restaurant of this type and a takeaway is the quality in cooking and the ingredients used. A usual way to gauge the quality is to order something steamed (like fish or even dim sum), and Wing Tai definitely passes on this criteria.Roast belly pork wasn’t very fatty, which was nice. Also, the skin was deliciously crunchy.
While nothing special exists on the Wing Tai menu, they do do their dishes quite well. I’ve seen reviews of this restaurant that say that it’s the finest Chinese food one can get (I wouldn’t agree with that statement; however, another was quite critical about it), but at the end of the day, most of the dishes are well cooked, generously portioned and pretty tasty.
The mapo tofu (shown above – okay, so this originates from Szechuan cuisine) is one of my firm favourites. Interestingly, the menu only lists the vegetarian version, but you can order it with meat (beef or pork I believe).
If you manage to get to the restaurant during the day, try the dim sum. This menu isn’t expansive, but does have many familiar dishes (enough to satisfy the masses). Sunday is usually family dim sum day, so if you do go, make sure to arrive early as it gets extremely busy.
As Wing Tai is located at the Chinese supermarket, Wing Yip, parking isn’t an issue and if you’re early enough you can buy some cheap Asian groceries on your way out too.